“Setting The Matter Straight”
November 11, 2009, 5:00am

An Addendum to my Truth Alert about Pete Hamill’s 1963 Article in The Saturday Evening Post.


I wanted to write an addendum to the Truth Alert I posted below because I couldn’t stop thinking about which “friend “could possibly have so misjudged me. I decided to track down Pete Hamill, who wrote the 1963 article that appeared in the Saturday Evening Post.

I found Pete down in Mexico and asked him if he remembered who this so-called “friend” was that falsely quoted me. He said it was either a Harvey something, possibly a partner at a public relations firm that represented me years ago, or Max Gordon, the owner of the nightclub, the Blue Angel, where I had performed. My interaction with both of these men was very limited. I said hello to Harvey Sabinson maybe twice in the 26 years his PR firm, Solters and Sabinson, represented me and I had never socialized with Max Gordon. I was happy to finally find out that the source who provided the erroneous quote was not a friend, but a business associate with whom I had virtually no relationship.

I have been in the process of writing my own book, My Passion for Design, and I know how important it is to make sure that the information I include is accurate. I always hope that the journalists who choose to write about me hold themselves to the same standard.

ps. I really dislike that all these years Brooklyn had to be demeaned. I’m very proud to have come from there.

Original Truth Alert:

There are some quotes that are so erroneous and so offensive that they have to be stopped in their tracks.

A 1963 article by Pete Hamill in the Saturday Evening Post stated:

“‘To Barbra,” ONE FRIEND SAYS, “Brooklyn meant baseball, boredom and bad breath.'”

That conclusion couldn’t have been further from the truth. But a book published subsequently actually attributes that offensive phrase to Barbra Streisand herself, either carelessly or intentionally twisting Hamill’s report.

Setting the matter straight before it gains any traction: she never said anything like that, she never thought anything like that and she seriously doubts that any friend of hers could have so misjudged her.